We have our own take on fast food here in Botswana. This can be found at many brightly painted ‘Semausu’ (tuck-shops) dotted along the road-side in Maun. The airport is one such place where you can pull in and enjoy some local fast food including:
Small, fried balls of bread, these are typically eaten in the morning with tea. They cost P1 each and the price has not gone up for about a decade!
Ma Fresh – More commonly known as ‘slap chips’, these are fried chips made from fresh potatoes. Typically soft, they are served with chilli seasoning and a generous dose of vinegar.
Braaied Mielies (seasonal) – Corn on the cob, roasted over a braai, these are simply served with salt.
Home Made Ginger
Home-made ginger beer – Made from well-guarded family recipes passed down over generations, this is typically served at traditional events like weddings, funerals and community meetings. This can be plain or alcoholic.
For the more adventurous looking for a snack on the run, why not try a dried Mopane worm? This is a big, juicy caterpillar except less juicy when dried.
If you want the full house, we recommend Botswana’s official national dish, pap and seswaa. Seswa, which is beef or goat, is boiled until tender in a pot, with “just enough salt”, and then pounded. It is served with pap (maize meal) and morogo (wild spinach).
The Duck Café
Conveniently located directly opposite the airport, The Duck serves great coffee paired with freshly baked pain au chocolate, refreshing mocktails to combat the Botswana heat (bloody mary, mojito or lemon & ginger twist) and the best Caesar salad in town. Check out the locally made crafts in the “Made in Maun” craft shop. This is the only place to find Kuru prints in Maun!
Dusty Donkey serves a good breakfast, great coffee, milkshakes, light lunches and a selection of freshly baked cakes. This is a popular choice with the locals and in close proximity to the airport.
Hilary’s Coffee Shop
Hilary’s Coffee Shop makes the best club sandwich and fresh salads in town. Don’t miss out on a slice of homemade pecan pie and a refreshing glass of her signature lemonade.
Motsana is a small, quirky complex located approximately 15 minutes outside of town, en-route to Moremi so is a great pit stop before heading out of town. The center has a café with a nice selection of yummy meals and cakes. It is also home to our local beauty therapist Lebo at Essentially You. Her rooms are simple and clean, and she gives the best massage in Southern Africa, tried and tested by many.
Marc’s Eatery serves the best Eggs Benedict in town. Owner run, they offer good service in an intimate setting for evening meals. On the main road of Maun, it is easily accessible and particularly convenient for those staying at Maun Studios close by.
Tandurei, an Indian restaurant, serves the best curry in town. The Lamb Rogan Josh & Butter Chicken are the best sellers on the menu and kids love the chicken lollipops. Choose your heat – we suggest mild! Due to its location close to the airport as well as its easy-going vibe, it’s also a popular watering hole for the Maun pilots after work.
Okavango Craft Brewery
The Brewery is Maun’s own craft brewery with a conservation twist. Learn all about this on a brewery tour followed by a taste testing. Our favorite is the Delta Beer, let us know yours. This is a great outdoor dining space to enjoy a traditional safari sundowner and pub food. Don’t miss out on tasting Botswana’s homegrown Okavango craft gin and take a bottle home as a gift.
Be hosted by a local Maunite on a 3-hour immersive experience and learn about local customs and traditions. Feast your senses on the sights, smells, and sounds when walking through the vibrant marketplace. Taste some traditional dishes at a local Café or sample everyday street food from the roadside vendors. Try your hand at the ancient practice of basket weaving while listening to the stories behind the beautiful patterns. Meet some of our resident talents and admire their crafts. Experience Botswana beyond wildlife, connect with the local people and learn about their lifestyle and culture. For more information, Click the link below
Visit the colorful roadside craft vendors and curio shops. Make a positive difference by taking home a hand-crafted souvenir, supporting our local talent. Don’t leave without an intricately woven, traditional basket. Made by the women of the Bayei and Hambukushu tribes in northwestern Botswana, these are among the finest in the world. Add to your collection a piece of original Kuru Art. Bold and colorful prints, these are made by the Kalahari bushman. Spice up your wardrobe with a traditional leteisi (shwe shwe) skirt or a hand painted t-shirt made by our local artist, Prince. Take home a sundowner with a bottle of Mopane infused craft gin. Have some fun with more novel take-aways like cow bells, carved palm nuts, and Kalahari donkey milk soap. Also shop for Kalahari sand candles, hand printed fabric bags and table linen as well as hand-made pottery, recycled glass beads, jewelry, and beaded animals.
Maun Made @ The Duck, opposite Maun Airport, exclusive stockist of Kuru Art.
Roadside vendors just beyond the Engen filling station as you leave Maun heading towards Moremi for the best selection of hand painted fabrics hanging up for you to see, wooden carvings, beaded animals and so much more.
Halethaba Art Space with Prince, opposite Riley’s Garage, near to the Okavango Pharmacy. Prince creates unique, hand painted t-shirts, hoodies and hats that are “proudly Maun”.
Milton, often stationed @ The Duck or roaming around Maun’s tourist hot spots, he is the man behind the extraordinary hand beaded animals.
Mopane Trading, opposite Maun Airport, next door to The Duck, for locally made jewelry with an African flair, beaded leatherware, kikois (safari sarong) and last minute safari gadgets.
Bushman Curio Shop, opposite Maun Airport, for Botswana branded t-shirts, Botswana and wildlife themed books and home décor items.
Riley’s Garage quick shop has a great selection of maps and books as well as last minute safari essentials.
Atlantis for the best selection of German Print (Shwe Shwe). These make great table cloths or pillow cases. Local seamstress, Ma TaFa, just behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, can whip up whatever your heart desires in 24 hours.
Kalahari Kanvas for classic canvas bags and safari accessories, all beautifully made.
Maun Quality Baskets (near The Brewery) offers a wide choice of baskets from weavers around Botswana. Meet Mma Kushunya, the master weaver herself and hear her story of economic empowerment of the women of Botswana as well as the stories behind the baskets.
Experience a brewery tour with a conservation twist and enjoy a taste testing of Botswana’s own craft beer at Okavango Craft Brewery. Our favorite is the Delta Beer, let us know yours. A great outdoor dining space to enjoy a traditional safari sundowner and pub food. Don’t miss out on tasting Botswana’s homegrown Okavango craft gin and take a bottle home as a gift.
For direct bookings, see the contacts details below
Tel: 686 0069 / 686 0017: www.okavangocraftbrewry.com
Opening Times: 11am – 8.30pm, 7 days a week
As the gateway to the Okavango, visitors can enjoy exploring the crystal-clear waterways by mokoro or motor boat, giving you access to this water wilderness on a budget. Maun is situated on the seasonal Thamalakane River, linked to the Okavango Delta. Exploring Maun from the river gives you a different perspective and an appreciation for what it means not only to its residents, but to the bird and animal life that it sustains. Enjoy an afternoon sunset cruise, or explore further afield into the Okavango on a full day or overnight experience.
Water levels are seasonal and activities will vary depending on the extent of the annual flood and what time of year you travel. Typically, the arrival of the annual flood waters from the Delta to Maun is between May and June. The volume of water is as unpredictable as the date of its arrival. For those privileged enough to experience this natural phenomenon, you will see the landscape transformed overnight, bringing with it much celebration as it rejuvenates this dusty town.
During dry spells, the river does dry up and safari operators drive further to access water or may offer alternative activities e.g., game drives.
Link to packages – any package that includes day trips into the delta from Maun (Audi Camp, Thamalakane, Lazy River, Raintree Camp)
With over 400 species of birds recorded in the Okavango Delta, Maun is not to be overlooked as a great birding hotspot. Take an early morning walk along the seasonal river and enjoy the amazing birdlife. Chat to the local fisherman about their catch of the day and spot the ladies harvesting Tswii, root of the waterlily, which is used in traditional cooking. Visit the hippo pool at the Old Bridge Backpackers, inhabited by the occasional crocodile, and enjoy a sundowner at this local hangout.
Botswana has its own take on fast food. You will see many brightly painted ‘Semausu’ (tuck-shops) dotted along the road-side, especially near the airport, where you can pull in and enjoy some local fast food including Magunya (fried bread balls), Mma Fresh (Slap Chips), Braaied Mielies (fire roasted corn on the cob) and home-made ginger beer. For the more adventurous looking for a snack on the run, why not try a dried Mopane worm (big, juicy caterpillar). If you want the full house, we recommend Botswana’s official national dish – pap and seswa. The seswa, which is beef or goat, is boiled until tender in a pot, with “just enough salt”, and pounded. It is served with pap (maize meal) and morogo (wild spinach). If you would like to try some traditional food and would appreciate the insight of a local host, book a Maun Immersive Tour.
To get a bird’s eye view of the Okavango, take to the air and soar above the water wilderness on a fixed wing or helicopter scenic flight. See the amazing waterways forged by hippos as well as the islands formed over decades by persistent termites. Herds of elephant and buffalo as well as hippo, giraffe, zebra and various species of antelope, seen from the air, will delight you.
Link to activity
Park opposite Riley’s Garage, near to Nandos and take time to explore the vibrant marketplace located in the area of Maun known as “Old Mall”. This parking lot was once Maun’s first airport, conveniently located opposite the historical Riley’s Hotel. Feast your senses on the sights, smells, and sounds when walking through the narrow alleyways packed with everything. There is fresh produce, dried foods (including the famous mopane worm), traditional clothing, traditional medicine to cure most ailments and homeware including 3 legged pots, wooden spoons, cow bells, and tap locks. Sample a variety of local street food or try some refreshing homemade ginger-beer to stay hydrated.
Look out for and take time to engage with some of our local favorites:
- Dudu and her amazing beaded jewelry
- Prince @ Halethaba Art Space with his unique, hand painted t-shirts, hoodies and hats that are “proudly Maun”.
- Mma Tafa and her beautifully crafted traditional leteisi (Shwe Shwe, wrap around skirts)
- Mma Modise and her selection of dried foods and traditional homeware.
Note that during the week, the market comes alive after 10:00am and closes at 5:00 pm. On Saturdays, this is after lunch and is closed on Sundays & public holidays. If you don’t feel comfortable walking alone, or would appreciate the insight of a local host, book a Maun Immersive Tour.
Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and a great base from which to explore the surrounding wilderness areas on a budget with full day or overnight experiences. Explore the nearby Moremi Game Reserve or Makgadikgadi National Park on a guided game drive or do it yourself if on a self-drive safari.
Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve offers exceptional game viewing and birding paired with spectacular scenery. The South Gate entrance to the reserve is approximately 2 hours from Maun. Guests staying in Maun with limited time or budget can enjoy a full day trip to Moremi. Be prepared for an early start and long day. Alternatively, book an overnight stay in the adjacent Khwai community area for the full safari experience.
Day Trip Packages
Daytrips (Audi, Thamalakane & Raintree Package?)
Overnight (Khwai Guest House, Sango & Machaba)
In central Botswana, one of the only remaining natural water sources for hundreds of kilometers, the Boteti River attracts huge concentrations of wildlife from the Makgadikgadi Pans and Central Kalahari during the dry season (June to October depending on the rains). This includes the spectacular zebra and wildebeest migration. The entrance to the park gate is only an hour and a half from Maun, and makes an ideal day trip with a picnic lunch. Alternatively, book an overnight stay at Boteti River Camp or Meno A Kwena, for the full safari experience.
Wash off the dust and iron out the knots after your safari with our local beauty therapist Lebo at Essentially You, based at Motsana, Her rooms are simple and clean, and she gives the best massage in Southern Africa, tried and tested by many.
Tel: +267 75228198 / +267 74847444
Visit an elephant sanctuary and learn about elephant behavior and the challenges of living alongside them. Elephant Havens is located approximately an hour outside of Maun, accessible by road or helicopter transfer. Visiting hours from 9-10 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. seven days a week. $100 Donation per person to visit the orphanage provides health care, special lactose-free baby formula and 24-hour care for each elephant by devoted handlers.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Boago Poloko at +267 73 809 428.
Link to package?
Visit Maun Quality Baskets and try your hand at the ancient practice of basket weaving, while listening to the stories behind the beautiful patterns. Meet Mma Kushunya, the master weaver herself and feast your eyes on her wide collection of baskets from weavers around Botswana.
Cost: P250.00 per person
Duration: 2 Hours
Bookings coordinated through Travel For Impact: +267 6864431 or email@example.com
Alternatively enjoy this experience as part of the Maun Immersive Tour
A great icebreaker on a group tour as well as a fun alternative for families, get creative and enjoy a painting workshop with local artist Prince @ Halethaba Art Space whose passion is infectious. Look out for his work splashed all over Maun.
Cost: From P500 per person depending on the venue, materials and group size
Duration: 2 Hours
Bookings coordinated through Travel For Impact: +267 6864431 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.”
Look out for the ancient Empresses from a fantasy. These are women dressed in big, elaborate and colourful traditional dresses. Please request permission before taking pictures.
More than just a way to earn a living, it is a communal spot complete with a barber, a semausu (tuck shop), and an outdoor restaurant.
Outdoor gaming station: Fancy a game of outdoor pool? Locate the pool tables, under the trees, complete with a canvas cover to protect it from rain and dust.
Spot one or two of the 24 000 donkeys in Maun. You may get lucky and see a donkey cart but these are more typical on the outskirts of town.
Around every corner and definitely under a tree, spot the orange cones and catch a local learning how to drive.
Decked in all-white dresses, this is one of the ethnic groups living in Maun.
The Setswana name is a mouthful and fun to try out. Baboons are a common sighting along the Disaneng road and never fail to entertain.
Cows and Goats
More common than warthogs, will be cows and goats who are street smart and traffic savvy.
Look out for traditional skirts and dresses of this German print which comes in all colours.
The Tin Men
Roadside, observe the wares of our local tinkers – tin trunks, jugs, baths, or anything you ask for. You may even see one in action.
A variety of stalls and roadside markets: Side hustles abound. Look out for stalls selling fire wood, second hand clothing, beauty products, shoes, food. Everything is available.
Semausu (Tuck Shops)
The colourful tuckshops, often in the owners’ yard will sell you sweets, drinks and Botswana fast food. Check out some of the weird and wonderful names painted on the outside.
Spot the many houses in one yard, often with an outside toilet and satellite dish.
African hair is big business. See if you can locate the roadside hair stylists and appreciate the hours spent creating elaborate hairdo’s.
Ignite your senses with vibrant, contemporary street art decorating walls, tuck-shops, clothes and even shoes.
A favorite pastime being Botswana’s national sport, watch a late afternoon soccer game on the dusty fields of Maun. If you are keen, the locals will love to have you join them.
The Old Bridge
The Old Bridge is a significant and cherished landmark that represents the historical and cultural importance of Maun. It serves as a bridge between the past and the present, connecting people and preserving the legacy of Maun’s growth and development.
Communal standpipes serve as vital water sources for communities without direct access to water, addressing the immediate water needs of individuals and promoting community well-being.
The Kgotla is a sacred gathering place that holds great cultural and historical significance. It serves as a symbol of community and a platform for decision-making and conflict resolution. Typically an open-air space, often located in the center of the village. It is an essential part of the traditional governance system, where the chief presides over community meetings.
Traditional kraals are livestock enclosures, typically consisting of a fenced area where animals are housed overnight for protection.
Audi Camp, situated 12 kms. outside of Maun, is a great budget friendly option with a relaxed atmosphere. They have pre-erected comfortable tents to save you unpacking or a big campsite with power points if you prefer to start as you mean to go on. The restaurant and bar menus are really good, and in fact the burgers are the best in town! Great swimming pool and all-round good choice for families or groups. Audi Camp offer a number of day trips and overnight camping experiences to complete your safari experience.
Link to package
Maun Studios is a bespoke guest house, set in a beautiful riverfront garden, not far from the center of Maun. They offer self-catering chalets, discreetly set under the riverine canopy teeming with birdlife. This unique property is small and ideal for couples looking for a quiet stopover. They do not offer evening meals, but will happily direct you to a number of restaurants all within easy reach of the studios, organizing transport for you if need be. Maun Studios rates include breakfast prepared by their friendly team and is a perfect stop-over for either self-drivers or fly-in guests.
Link to package
Thamalakane River Lodge is a large property suited for couples, families and groups. Its approx. a 20 minute drive from Maun airport, on route to Moremi, but it’s position on the River makes you feel miles from anywhere and offers a chance to relax. If water levels permit, they offer a sunset cruise, the first of many if you are starting your safari, or a final goodbye if its your last sunset in Botswana. They offer various size chalets to suit your needs, a good restaurant and swimming pool. To complete your safari experience, you can book a number of day trips and overnight camping experiences from your doorstep.
Link to package
Thamo Telele safari lodge is located in a 250 hectare private reserve on the outskirts of Maun. Recently refurbished it is a comfortable and intimate lodge, ideal for easing into your Botswana safari experience. The lodge offers the chance to get up close & personal with giraffe, zebra and assorted antelopes, whilst staying in this tranquil setting. Activities include an educational giraffe experience, horse riding, guided walks and even a guided cycling tour, totally unique to this lodge.
Link to package
Close to town and just a short drive from Maun airport, Sedia Hotel offers the options of comfortable rooms, family cottages or a large campsite for the self-drivers, families and groups. Built between the natural vegetation with its riverine setting, this 2 star property offers value for money, a large restaurant and a huge swimming pool, with a poolside terrace menu and bar, which is popular with the local residents on weekends and holidays.
Link to package